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South Korean development agency announces new strategy for 2021-2025

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), a major South Korean grant assistance agency, announced its mid-term sectoral strategy for 2021-2025.

The published document includes strategic objectives and programs in the following sectors: education, health, governance and peace, agriculture and rural development, water, energy, transportation, urban development, science, technology and innovation (STI), climate action, gender equality, and human rights.

In the case of the health sector, KOICA will continue to focus on maternal, child, and reproductive health, mirroring key targets in the previous strategy for 2016-2020. In addition, the new measures will aim to improve health security and strengthen the digital health capacity of partner countries.

Website – Korea International Cooperation Agency (in Korean)

Abridged report - Korea International Cooperation Agency

South Korea begins COVID-19 vaccine donation campaign with Vietnam and Thailand

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of South Korea announced that it will donate COVID-19 vaccines for the first time to its partner countries, beginning with Vietnam and Thailand.

In particular, 1.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be provided to Vietnam. Both Vietnam and Thailand are key partner countries in South Korea’s New Southern Policy. While South Korea has provided humanitarian assistance and official development assistance (ODA) for COVID-19 response to its partner countries, it has not previously donated vaccines, signaling a shift in its global health policy and pandemic response.  

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

South Korean development agency cuts ODA budget for Afghanistan by 80% in 2022

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) submitted a budget proposal to the South Korean National Assembly which includes an 80% budget cut in official development assistance (ODA) for Afghanistan in 2022.

While KOICA initially planned to allocate KRW4.7 billion (US$4 million), it ended up requesting only KRW1.0 billion (US$1 million), due primarily to the instability of ODA project implementation under the Taliban regime. KOICA is said to be monitoring the local situation and will follow the government's direction on Afghanistan policy and assistance.

News article – Yonhap News (in Korean)

South Korean health experts call for ODA changes due to prolonged COVID-19 crisis

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Korea Foundation for International Healthcare (KOFIH), two major grant agencies which implement global health projects, co-hosted a conference on global health official development assistance (ODA) on September 30, 2021.

With weakened health and medical infrastructure in partner countries due to the prolonged COVID-19 crisis, the conference highlighted the need to approach global health differently. Partnership with the private sector was also emphasized, focusing on the crucial domestic production of medical supplies.

News article – Daily Medi (in Korean)

South Korea announces enhanced Knowledge Sharing Program Plus, aimed at sharing development expertise

South Korea's Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) announced that it will update South Korea’s Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP) to KSP Plus, which is a trademark program aimed at sharing South Korea’s development experience, knowledge, and innovation with partner countries.

Under the principles of sustainability and synergy, KSP Plus will develop into a multi-year and large-scale program to enhance KSP's long-term effectiveness. Efforts will also be made to standardize consultations, strengthen the linkage between KSP and follow-up projects, and enhance partnerships with non-ODA partner countries.

Press release – Ministry of Economy and Finance (in Korean)

South Korea commits US$9 million in climate-centered ODA

South Korea's Ministry of Environment (MOE) will participate in the Fourth Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific, where it will announce South Korea’s official development assistance (ODA) contributions to international organizations on climate.

South Korea will establish and provide US$5 million to the Green New Deal Fund Trust Fund of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and contribute US$4 million to the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals (P4G). South Korea hosted the 2021 P4G Summit in May.

Press release – Ministry of Environment (in Korean)

UK reports on achievements of 2011-2021 international climate finance investments; commits US$15.6 billion for next five years

The UK's recently released Corporate Report, '2021 UK Climate Finance Results' provides an overview of achievements from the UK's portfolio of International Climate Finance (ICF) investments between April 2011 and March 2021. According to the report, during this period the UK provided £9.6 billion (US$12.9 billion) in official development assistance (ODA) focused on helping low- and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) to:

  • Adapt to the current and future effects of climate change; 
  • Follow low-carbon economic growth; 
  • Assist with sustainable management of natural resources; 
  • Improve access to clean energy; and, 
  • Reduce deforestation.

The report estimates that the UK's ICF programs have:

  • Provided direct support to 88 million people to help them with the impacts of climate change; 
  • Improved 41 million individuals’ access to clean energy; 
  • Helped to reduce or avoid 180 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions; and, 
  • Mobilized £5.2 billion (US$7.2 billion) in public and £3.3 billion (US$4.6 billion) in private finance for climate change purposes in low- and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs).

The UK has committed to increasing its ICF to £11.6 billion (US$15.6 billion) between April 2021 and March 2026 — a doubling compared to its previous five-year commitment. 

Report - 2021 International Climate Finance Results

South Korea increases ODA by more than US$200 million in the Philippines for COVID-19 crisis response

South Korea's Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) increased its official development assistance (ODA) in the Philippines, allocating an additional US$200 million concessional loan and US$2.5 million in grant assistance to enhance the Philippines' COVID-19 response.

South Korea also raised the concessional loan limit to US$3 billion for 2022-2026. The two countries additionally discussed large-scale infrastructure investments as well as digital and green new deal ODA projects for 2022-2026. One proposed project includes funding climate mitigation responses in the Pampanga province of the Philippines.

News article – Money Today News (in Korean)

President of South Korea’s international health agency recommends future steps for ODA in reponse to COVID-19 crisis

President Moojin Choo of the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare (KOFIH) provided recommendations for South Korea’s official development assistance (ODA) in response to changing global health needs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

KOFIH, which is an agency affiliated with South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare, implements ODA projects in the health sectors of partner countries.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Choo recommended that global health development funding aim to strengthen the basic health and medical systems of partner countries. In addition, Choo indicated that South Korea’s support should be aligned with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as partner countries’ national development strategies.

More capacity-building funding and investments were also recommended by health and medical ODA experts. Lastly, the president recommended stronger public support and understanding for international cooperation concerning global health security.

News article – Medical News (in Korean)

South Korea invests US$7 million in elimination of gender-based violence in Bolivia and Peru

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) announced that it will invest US$7 million and US$6 million in Bolivia and Peru, respectively, to help achieve gender equality in the two countries by addressing gender-based violence.

KOICA will cooperate with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to enhance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of female adolescents in Bolivia through 2025. In Peru, KOICA will partner with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for capacity building of the legal system.

Press release – Korea International Cooperation Agency (in Korean)

South Korean foreign ministry proposes 17% ODA budget increase for 2022

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of South Korea announced its budget proposal for 2022, which includes an official development assistance (ODA) budget increase of 17.3%, reaching KRW1.1 billion (US$1 million).

The decision stems from the increased need for global support to fight the COVID-19 crisis. MOFA also requested a KRW62.4 billion (US$57 million) budget increase for the Global Disease Eradication Fund to fulfill its commitment of providing US$100 million to COVAX Advance Market Commitments (AMC) for 2022.

The final budget for 2022 will be confirmed in December 2021 upon approval by the National Parliament.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

South Korea to provide US$100 million concessional loan for Colombia’s Green Growth policy

South Korea’s Eximbank will support Colombia’s Green Growth policy for sustainable economic development by investing up to ₩117 billion (US$100 million) through the bank's joint loan program with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Also, with Korea hosting the P4G Summit in 2021 and Colombia hosting the P4G Summit in 2022, the two countries agreed to cooperate on climate crisis response.

News article – The Guru (in Korean)

South Korean national research institute makes recommendations for Afghanistan assistance following US withdrawal

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), a South Korean national research institute, published a report with recommendations for the South Korean government in supporting Afghanistan after the US withdrawal from the country.

Operating on the assumption that South Korea will halt its official development assistance (ODA) program to Afghanistan, KIEP recommended that the Korean government:

  • Continuously monitor Afghanistan and its neighboring countries’ situation and develop a new foreign strategy;
  • Strengthen communication and cooperation with international organizations to resume ODA to Afghanistan since South Korea has a large share of grants channeled through international organizations; and
  • Establish its position on Afghanistan refugees and develop a relevant strategy.

News article – Financial News (in Korean)

South Korea expands concessional lending to Inter-American Development Bank, deepening Latin American partnerships

Minister Nam-ki Hong of South Korea’s Ministry of Economy of Finance signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to expand the joint loan facility program from US$300 million to US$500 million by 2025.

This increase signals the deepening collaboration between South Korea and Latin American partner countries, primarily due to increasing development needs and the South Korean private sector’s engagement in the region.

News article – Yonhap News

South Korea to invest US$12 million for clean water in northern Pakistan by 2026

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) signed a record of discussions with the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in northern Pakistan to provide clean water to the population in the region by investing KRW14.5 billion (US$12 million) by 2026.

The funding will be used to establish water supply facilities, build the capacity of relevant stakeholders, and raise awareness of the local population. Pakistan is a priority partner country of South Korea’s official development assistance (ODA) and water, hygiene and sanitation is a priority sector of South Korea’s ODA to Pakistan.

News article – Pakistan Observer

South Korea’s grant funding agency will supprt Colombia's COVID-19 response with US$5 million

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the key grant funding implementing agency of South Korea, announced that it will invest KRW5 billion (US$5 million) in Colombia to construct hospital buildings and support research to help the country’s COVID-19 response.

Colombia is a priority partner country of South Korea’s official development assistance for 2021-2025.

News article – Yonhap News (in Korean)

South Korea will work with UNFPA to support Iraqui survivors of gender-based violence

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) announced that it will invest US$3 million by 2023 in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to support survivors of gender-based violence in Northern Iraq. In particular, the project will include building two one-stop support centers that provide legal, medical, and psychological support.

Press release – Korea International Cooperation Agency (in Korean)

South Korean President reaffirms’ commitment to vaccine partnership, climate change response

During an address celebrating South Korea’s Liberation Day, President Jae-in Moon addressed the government’s commitment to global vaccine partnership and partner countries’ climate change response.

Based on global cooperation, South Korea will become a vaccine hub in partnership with the private sector to overcome COVID-19, said Moon, and assist partner countries’ energy transitions while sharing relevant technologies and knowledge accumulated from implementing South Korea’s Green New Deal.

Press release – Cheong Wa Dae